Blind Welfare Assoc working to become self-sufficient

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this file photo, from left to right: TTBWA president Felix Cazoe, Ryan Khamran, Shakeila Kelly, Jaidon Vincent, Central Bank exteral relations officer Elizabeth James, Adel Spence and Samuel Williams, at the association’s office in Port of Spain.

President of the Blind Welfare Association Felix Cazoe says its members are working towards becoming self-sufficient so that the visually impaired can have sustainable opportunities in the future.

At the 75 anniversary of the incorporation of the Blind Welfare Association on Monday, at the School for Blind Children, Pax Vale Road, Santa Cruz, Cazoe said it was time its members move away from high dependency on government grants and other subventions.

“The Blind Welfare Association is moving towards a change, and because we base our existence on inclusion, accessibility and sustainability, oil and gas are technically no longer relevant, and we as an organisation need to fully recognise this and try to produce something that is sustainable.

“Seventy-five years is a milestone and is an opportunity for us to look back, it’s an opportunity to know where we are and to know where we want to be.”

Specifically, he said: “We want to provide books in accessible format for our children. We want to even provide devices for them, because we want our children to compete. We know grants are unsustainable. Our main goal is to make them employable.”

“We need to keep people working as long as possible so that we can continue the national development.”The association also wants the Ministry of Labour to establish a policy on employment for people with disabilities.”

The association’s plans also include a partnership between the association and the ministries of Social Development and Family Services, and Education.